By Accommodation Times News Services
Odisha is short of 4,10,000 housing units, reports Tachnical Group which did a survey for Housing policy in the state. The compehensive housing policy was gazetted by the state on 14th Aug 2015. The policy in its introduction reveals that in 2007, a housing shortfall of about 1,50,000 units were estimated in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack region alone by their respective development plans. A recent state wide estimate by the Technical Group on Urban Housing Shortage (2012-17) states that there is a shortfall of about 4,10,000 housing units in Odisha. It is further estimated that approximately 3,60,000 affordable dwelling units would have to be added in the Bhubaneswar – Cuttack region, exclusively, to accommodate the growth during the next ten years in these areas.
An affordable housing study for DFID conducted by CRISIL in 2012 observed that most of the upcoming developments in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack region were HIG housing with some MIG housing though usually in the periphery. It was observed that developers refrained from developing lower income group (LIG) / economically weaker section (EWS) housing and instead focused on the premium (HIG) bracket. The housing market showed “investor” orientation rather than a “user” orientation. The resultant stock was apartments in the range of 1200 sq.ft. mid-sized apartments to luxurious apartments of area 2500 sq.ft. and above. The developments within the proximity of the core cities have not shown any progress towards creation of housing stock for low-income groups. The addition in housing stock has mostly “flatted” and no new plotted development was observed in the region (except for HIG).
Government agencies such as Bhubaneswar Development Authority, Cuttack Development Authority and Odisha State Housing Board (OSHB) have not been able to address issues of mass housing till date. For instance, BDA has taken up only three Housing Schemes in last ten years: (1) Ananta Vihar Housing Scheme, Phase-II (2004)with160 MIG houses, (2) Netaji Subash Enclave, Gadakan (2007)with304 HIG Duplex houses and (3) Ananta Vihar, Phase-II, HIG Duplex Finished Housing Scheme(2009)with44 houses. The total number of dwelling units in these schemes is HIG (Duplex-348 units) and (MIG- 160units). No houses have been constructed under EWS &LIG category over the last ten years. This further indicates that there has been no systemic effort for want of adequate policy support in addressing concerns of housing in urban areas.
The housing policy further state that the EWS and LIG households accounts for about 75% of the housing stock requirements. These households make vital contributions to the growth of a city. Hence, it is must to provide for EWS & LIG housing in large numbers to become inclusive, vibrant and affordable. In order to meet the growing requirement for AH, SRRH& RH, an initial target has been set for construction of 1,00,000 dwelling units for EWS and LIG households over the next 5 years.